Today's yummy concoction is inspired by trying to eat healthily without excess sugar, and incorporating more vegetarian eating habits into my diet. It is very nutritious and delicious, not to mention, there's a huge variety of things you can do to change it up!
Experts say that eating oatmeal is extremely good for your health, particularly if you have cholesterol issues. Well, I don't know about you, but oatmeal can get quite bland and boring with the same old milk and sugar routine--even if you add in brown sugar and maple. With all that sugar, however, it starts to deplete the health benefits a little.
One of my favorite ways to add some variety to my oatmeal is to add fruit. I find that cooking it down a little reduces the tartness and brings out the natural sugars in the fruit. No need to even add any artificial sweeteners! Yay!
1 serving size of dry oats (quick cook or regular)
1 small fruit, chopped
1 serving size (about 1/2 cup) of favorite yogurt
*optional: Walnuts, almonds, or other favorite type of nut, chopped
Here are the instructions (given to you in the form of pictures). Enjoy!
With a little water in the pan, add in your oats. Cook on medium heat.
Add in your favorite serving of yogurt. It can be low-fat or even Greek. I used Yoplait's Strawberry Banana flavor. Continue to cook on medium heat.
Now add in some chopped fruit. I chopped up an apricot that was still a little tart. You can use berries or other varieties of fruit. Let this cook in the yogurt for a few minutes, especially if the fruit is a little tart and/or hard.
This part is optional, but you can chop up your favorite nut and add it into the mix as well for a little added protein and texture. These are hazelnuts. Almonds, walnuts, and even pecans work well.
Let everything cook together until the fruit is softened and has absorbed sugar from the yogurt. Reduce heat if necessary.
Now you're ready to eat! Have fun mixing flavors and fruits!
Oatmeal has 0 grams of sugar, so the only sugar you're eating is from the yogurt--the apricot or other fruits have natural sugars, which are better for you, nutritionally as they come paired with vitamins and minerals, not to mention, fiber. Greek yogurt would be great to use as well, but keep in mind that once you heat it up, the probiotics are depleted. It does have more protein than traditional yogurt, and if you buy it plain, you can add stevia extract for sweetness, and vanilla flavoring. Ta-da!
*A note for vegans: this recipe is easily interchanged with a vegan alternative to yogurt. Just find a coconut, almond, or soy-based yogurt and substitute that instead.